Top 10 things to experience in Greenland

Marion Fernandez

A country full of a rich history and amazing wilderness, Greenland can offer you a unique and memorable experience. With a population of only 60,000 people, this truly peaceful country can be a real getaway location. It might surprise you, but there is a lot to see in Greenland, too.

1. Watch the Northern Lights

The lack of light pollution means you can watch the Northern Lights from most parts of Greenland, in most seasons apart from the day long daylight of summer
The lack of light pollution means you can watch the Northern Lights from most parts of Greenland, in most seasons apart from the day long daylight of summer

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, can be seen all across the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, which, of course, includes Greenland. The Northern Lights are visible starting in fall and all through the winter into spring. You can’t see them in the summer because the days are so long there isn’t really a night within which to view the phenomenon. You don’t have to be in any particular spot in Greenland to be able to see them either. There is not much in the way of light pollution in the country, so you should be able to see them wherever you are.

2. Go for a hike

Of course, you can hike most anywhere in the world, but hiking in Greenland is definitely a one of a kind experience. The nature in Greenland is completely unspoiled. And despite what you may have heard, Greenland is not actually all covered in ice. There are plenty of hiking trails, rocks, and even green areas to traipse through and enjoy. Even close by the towns, you will feel like you have escaped to another world. With the mountains, lakes, and vast valleys, you are going to get the hiking experience of a lifetime.

3. Head to Tasiilaq

Walk into a fairytale at Tasiilaq, with colorful houses all laid out in rows
Walk into a fairytale at Tasiilaq, with colorful houses all laid out in rows

Tasiilaq, the biggest town on the Eastern side of Greenland, has amazing and colorful houses unlike any others you might find. The town has a population of 2,000, making it a small-town getaway destination, even though it’s the largest town around. The town is on the coast but also nearby to mountains, meaning you are bound to find some amazing tourist activity any time of year.

4. Go Kayaking

Believe it or not, kayaking is one of the oldest forms of transportation in Greenland. A common belief is that the first European settlers came to Greenland using kayaks. In modern times, kayaking in Greenland is a way to fully experience the country’s amazing scenery. Due to the amount of kayaking companies in the area, you can easily rent a kayak and go gliding in between icebergs and mountains, taking in views of whales and seals.

5. Pay a visit to Ilulissat Icefjord

Take in the wonderful land of ice and icebergs
Take in the wonderful land of ice and icebergs

Something that is often said about Greenland is that it is a land made up of ice, contradicting the country’s name. And even though there is a lot of different terrain across Greenland, there is undeniably a lot of ice. Visiting Ilulissat Icefjord will give you an opportunity to take a close up look at the ice of Greenland firsthand. Literally made up of thousands of icebergs, the fjord is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites on Earth, making the area protected. As a tourist, you can pay a visit to Ilulissat via plane, helicopter or ferry and take in the natural wonder first-hand.

6. Explore the Blue River

The name Blue River may not seem impressive, but the river is a natural wonder. With crystal-clear bright turquoise water, the river creeps in between the icy land, creating a landscape that almost looks more like a map than an actual place. Kayaking down the river is the best way to see it, but there are also other tourist opportunities to be found if kayaking is not your ideal way to go.

7. Visit Nuuk

The capital city of Nuuk has much to offer for tourists
The capital city of Nuuk has much to offer for tourists

If you are going to take in anything at all in Greenland, you had better pay a visit to Nuuk. Nuuk is the capital of Greenland, but that does not mean that it is a large city. Within Nuuk, you will be exposed to the history and the culture of Greenland. The capital is full of art galleries, museums, shopping, and all of the standard tourist fair that you would expect to get from a capital city. This is also the best place to try out Greenland’s cuisine.

8. Check out the world’s largest park

The largest national park in the world resides in Greenland. The park covers over 375,000 square miles and is full of arctic creatures and untouched natural landscapes. Even though the park is 77 times the size of Yellowstone National Park, it averages only 500 visitors annually. This is naturally because of the remoteness and extreme temperatures of the park itself, but it has also acted as an excellent way of protecting the natural environment and wildlife. Only 40 humans live within the park’s preserve at the moment, but the land was previously inhabited by a number of Inuit families. You have to get a permit to be granted permission to see the park, but you can get one from the Ministry of Nature and Environment.

9. Take a cruise

One of the more popular ways to see Greenland, taking a cruise will give you an opportunity to see country in the comfort and luxury of a modern liner. Cruises are nice because they will take you to the most popular destinations, letting you see as much as possible, and in style.

10. Have an Inuit village experience

For those who would like to immerse themselves more fully into the native culture of Greenland, you can take a tour of an Inuit village. By hiking with a special tour guide, you can get a taste of what Inuit village life is like as well as what it was like before European settlers arrived. You should remember to be respectful of the Inuit culture, and that you are visiting them for the unique experience such a tour provides.

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marion-fernandez is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival